Perplexed by Purple
I wondered why the Moderators of the GA of the Church of Scotland have taken to wearing purple?
Is it because it looks better on TV or that it stands out in the crowd. Historically the expense of purple dyes limited this colour to the clothes of the rich and powerful, hence imperial purple.
Or, perhaps it is a throwback to the counter culture of the 60s and 70s and the spirit of rebellion. In the interest of openness I must confess that in my young and rebellious days I had a purple clerical vest that I could wear underneath an open necked shirt. I thought I looked pretty cool. (I could not have been that rebellious if I actually wore a clerical collar, a practice I soon discarded.)
Perhaps there is a hidden psychological significance in purple? I looked this up on BBC under psychology of colour. There it informs me that it is “associated with: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex.” No, can’t see Moderators putting out that subliminal message.
Or perhaps there is a bit of ecclesiastical keeping up with the Jones here, in particular our southern neighbours.
Wikipedia helpfully points out that “during the 20th century Anglican bishops began wearing purple (officially violet) shirts as a sign of their office. Along with the pectoral cross and episcopal ring, this marks them off from other clergy in appearance.”
So why do Presbyterians, who believe in the parity of ministers, wear purple?